…They made me the keeper of the vineyards; but mine own vineyard have I not kept. ~Song of Solomon 1:6b
We live very busy lives! Living in the San Francisco Bay Area places many demands upon working adults. Working people need to make time for commuting, classes, taking their children to school and after-school events, house chores, cooking, cleaning, and outside volunteer activities. In addition, those of us who are actively serving the Lord in our church have great responsibilities that are added to everything else. We are busy! In fact, we can be so busy that we become neglectful of things that should be important to us.
We see the reason.
The Shunammite woman had been given the responsibility of her family vineyards. Caring for a vineyard was arduous work that required daily attention. There was planting, irrigation, pruning, setting traps to catch little foxes, daily review, and, eventually, harvesting. She was so busy taking care of other vineyards that her own vineyard was neglected. Her vineyard became overgrown with weeds and nettles. The walls of her vineyard were broken. Foxes nibbled away at the grapes. She did not have a good harvest. When we are overcommitted, try to please too many people, and do not set right priorities, what should be important to us is neglected.
We see the result.
Negligence is very obvious. We become sporadic or absent in our Bible reading and prayer. We do not spend quality time with our spouses, and our marriage crumbles. Our children do not get needed time for mentoring and being loved. We become irritable, impatient, and argumentative. We are trying to serve two masters, but are not successful in pleasing anyone. A neglected vineyard is an eyesore. A neglected vineyard bears little to no fruit. A neglected vineyard is a devalued vineyard. When we are negligent, we are saying that we are too busy, we do not care, and what should be important is not a priority.
We see a rebuke.
And Jesus answered and said unto her, “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things” (Luke 10:41). Martha was so busy serving and trying to impress Jesus with her skills that she neglected the most important responsibility: worshipping Jesus! Martha complained that Mary should have been helping her. Jesus told her that she was careful and troubled about many things. We make a bigger deal out of what we do than what we should be doing. We make a bigger deal about how we look than how we should be living. He told Martha that “Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Mary knew that the priority was worshipping Jesus with an undistracted heart. Do you hear the rebuke of the Lord telling you that there are things you have been neglecting that need immediate attention?
We see a remedy.
We need to reassess our priorities and give ourselves to doing the right things. We must decide not to try to please everyone and be overcommitted. Our schedule must accommodate quality time with our family and with God. We must build margins in our schedule for rest, recreation, make-up time with God, and building our family. We must be careful not to go through extremes of being overcommitted to having little commitment. We must be dependable in our responsibilities and devoted to the people most important to us. Don’t let negligence destroy your vineyard!
Have a balanced God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Proverbs 16-18